Thousand-Fold Volumetric Concentration of Live Cells with a Recirculating Acoustofluidic Device
The ability to concentrate cells from dilute samples into smaller volumes is an essential process step for most biological assays. Volumetric concentration is typically achieved via centrifugation, but this technique is not well suited for handling small number of cells, especially outside of the laboratory setting. In this work, we describe a novel device that combines acoustofluidics with a recirculating architecture to achieve >1000-fold enrichment of cells in a label-free manner, at high volumetric throughput (>500 μL min–1) and with high recovery (>98.7%). We demonstrate that our device can be used with a wide variety of different cell types and show that this concentration strategy does not affect cell viability. Importantly, our device could be readily adopted to serve as a “sample preparation” module that can be integrated with other microfluidic devices to allow analysis of dilute cellular samples in large volumes.